Monday, March 6, 2017

Is Rod Meredith The Most Uniquely Qualified Man To Write About The Protestant Reformation?

Gerald Weston and the Living Church of God have been heavily promoting the "new" earth shattering series of articles that Rod Meredith is "working" on regarding the "truth" about the Protestant Reformation.  The Living Church of God, as well as Rod Meredith, feel that he is the most qualified human ever to comment upon the Protestant Reformation.

This is coming from a man who has had no theological training outside of the Church of God information stream.  He has had zero historical education, by qualified and well versed professors, on the Protestant Reformation movement.   Most of his knowledge is garnered from anti-Catholic sources that are just as biased as Herman Hoeh's and Dean Blackwell's treatises on church history and the Reformation that the old Worldwide Church of God claimed to be historically accurate.

The latest issue of the Tomorrow's World contains the article:  The Plain Truth About the Protestant Reformation.  Ah yes, the "Plain Truth,"  how veeeeery original.  Why is it that none of the men in any of the splinter groups can ever come up with something original?

The byline for the article states this:
“Roderick C. Meredith, the Editor in Chief of the Tomorrow’s World Magazine and Presiding Evangelist of the Living Church of God, is uniquely qualified to write this series. His ministry spans almost 65 years, from the earliest years of Herbert W. Armstrong’s worldwide work to today’s multi-media continuation of that Work of reaching the world with the Gospel of the coming Kingdom of God. 
Dr. Meredith has long been an expert concerning the history and significance of the Protestant Reformation, and this series collects his research on this highly misunderstood subject. 
The article starts out with this:
The Protestant movement today is on trial. The Protestant Reformation has spawned a veritable Babylon of hundreds of different denominations.
Seriously?  He has the gall to start out like this when he is part of a movement that has spawned hundreds and hundreds of harlot daughters of the mother church!  The Church of God is the most fractured single church movement in modern history.  Lecturing others about a "movement" being "on trial" is pretty hypocritical from a man who has helped spawn church divisions.

This entire article is nothing new for Rod Meredith.  It is not like he has been focused upon studying the Protestant Reformation over the last few years, and particularly now that he is on his death bed.  What Meredith has done is republish his 1961 thesis that was a requirement of the unaccredited Ambassador College "graduate" program.  This is a paper that never defended in front of real theologically and historically trained professors.

Church of God News has this to say about Meredith's series:
Roderick Meredith has not collected “his research on this highly misunderstood subject” during “his ministry (spanning) almost 65 years.” 
He wrote The Plain Truth about the Protestant Reformation 61 years ago, when he was a student at Ambassador College. His thesis was written in ‘Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Masters of Arts in Theology’.
The first article in this “ brand-new series” comprises chapters1-3 of this thesis. It is almost word for word, with some slight (or should that be ‘sleight’?)amendments by the editors, e.g. “thesis” is changed to “series”; “the following chapters” to “this series of articles”; and “the present work” to “this series”.
Why does the Living Church of God need to deliberately deceive their members by pretending that this is an all new series that Rod Meredith's been working on?


Byker Bob said...

Sadly, amongst the current crop of ACOG leaders, he probably is the most qualified to present an Armstrongite perspective of the Protestant Reformation. And, it's going to be hellabiased, basically written to "prove" that Armstrongism is "God's True Church". There will be no peer review from other theologians, and the majority of the LCG COGlodytes will simply take it at face value, as that has always been considered to be the proper attitude.

I'd have much more confidence in a paper written by Lester Grabbe, Dr. James Tabor, or the late Gavin Rumney. There is no way that this opus will rise to the level of a Dr. Sam Bacchiocchi event!


Anonymous said...

So, IOW, during the last 61 years, Rod Meredith has learned nothing about the Reformation.

Anonymous said...

Read the old weekly updates from Gerald Weston. For a while they were announcing that Rod had written his autobiography and that it would be released very soon. Then Meredith's draft was circulated to some top LCG ministers, and they realised that it was a total embarrassment and could never be released. That's why they have seized on Meredith's fifty-year-old thesis as an alternative that lets them keep his name out in front of donors and tithe-payers for as long as possible.

Anonymous said...

There is no way that this opus will rise to the level of a Dr. Sam Bacchiocchi event!

You don't need to wait. What LCG is publishing is the same thing RCM published more than fifty years ago.

The Plain Truth About The Protestant Reformation

Black Ops Mikey said...

Here is a Biographical Sketch of Roderick Meredith by Redfox.

Apparently, none of the Armstrongists seem to realize that they are part of the Protestant Reformation (reformed a couple of times since the original).

Roderick Meredith is certainly an expert in the British Israelism worst science fiction ever alternative world history of supposedly lost Israelite Tribes (never happened), making him one of the worst failed false prophets for probably the longest time in the most splintered cult in the shortest time ever. Fake prophecy, fake news, fake conversion, fake ministry.

A carnal unconverted narcissistic harsh sociopath with no human compassion whatsoever continuing an old man's religion with old man understanding, unable to grow in grace and knowledge and without one shred of justice, judgment, equity or mercy, slandering and libeling people to ruin their lives and ultimately an idolater of some standing.

Not a good resume to meet your Maker, but then, perhaps he never will given that if there is an afterlife, he doesn't seem to achieved the redemption to enter into it and he has known enough to not be held innocent....

Anonymous said...

You folks here are grasping at straws in your childish and silly attempts to demean Meredith's work on this subject of the Protestant Reformation that he worked on years ago for his thesis. Right or wrong, he put hundreds of hours into writing that thing years ago and his thoughts on it are just as valid as any other theologian in any other religious persuasion has on it. And why shouldn't LCG use his writings on this topic? He's the Editor in Chief of the magazine and he can write what he pleases in it since he helped found it in 1998. Get over it people. LCG and "Armstrongnism" is not going away any time soon, if ever. And good for them.

Anonymous said...

I have an interest in church history have studied it extensively and can say without any doubt that Meredith's series on the Reformation is a load of crap. All he is attempting to do is to try and prove the legitimacy of his group. It cannot be done. Even trotting out the Waldenses as proof is not legitimate. It is all a vain attempt to go out with a bang. His death bed opus.

Anonymous said...

The LCG magazine describes Meredith's article this way: "This series collects his research on this highly misunderstood subject."

Since "this series" is exactly the same as what Meredith wrote 60 years ago, we must conclude that Meredith has done no new research on this subject in the last 60 years. The "series" may be new, but its contents are old, old, old.

Hoss said...

RCM's time with HWA may draw a remark from Dave Pack, who makes claims that it was his superfantabulous self who was closest to HWA. And I'm sure Bob Thiel will comment on the historical element, and probably note all the "mistakes".

I remember reading RCM's MA thesis a few years ago, and from what I recall, it read like a lengthy high school assignment. It was much lighter than the Compendium and of course we've all read the work that sprang from GTA's PhD thesis...

Anonymous said...

"LCG and Armstrongism are not going away any time soon".
Well that may be the case,or it may not be.
Either way you cannot egnore the appalling abuse deceitfulness outright lies and proveable errors that are characteristic of Armstrongism.
They are "Legend ".
And that is even before we begin to look at the "dark deeds"that characterise the ministry of Armstrongism.
They are"Legend".
But I will admit in my 26 yrs in the wwcog I did meet some real gems in the ministry.Interestingly enough those few are no longer in the cog/Armstrong movement.

Miller Jones said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

It's interesting that you should mention James Tabor, BB. For I was thinking since yesterday when I read Jim's rather interesting article in the latest issue of "The Journal"( see Ambassador Watch site) that I must write to ask that you give an analysis of his rather benign assessment of Armstrongism and his own Armstrongite experience. He gives a perspective that is radically different from what one encounters on these blogs. In my view, he grasps some strengths of Armstrongism which I have always felt should be acknowledged by critics. It is refreshing to see that an ex-member can take this dispassionate view of the movement, particularly vis-à-vis orthodox Christianity. What do you say BB? I am always interested in your perspectives.
Ian Boyne

Connie Schmidt said...

Will it be title "Meredith of the Ages" ???

Gerald Bronkar said...

Black Ops Mikey, how do you really feel? Love your no-holds-barred posts. You often make me laugh out loud, sometimes for a full minute!
Thanks for the humor.
By the way, I agree, these splinter group leaders are doing all they can to profit from the legacy of one of the greatest con-artists of all time---HWA. The man invented a nutty religion, and lived like a king who loved being idolized. Should have been locked up. Despite the misery and destruction in his wake, some are so brainwashed they can't break the cycle. It is a true sickness, and a hard habit to break.
Do you have experience with The Church of God, 7th Day? My dad was brought up in that organization.

Steve D said...

Don't worry about RCM's lack of scholarship in his writings on the Reformation. What he doesn't have in scholarship he always seems to make up with arrogance. Imagine trying to ask an honest question that challenges a doctrine in First Year Bible at AC with RCM as the instructor. He will shut you down in an instant and move on. He is an intellectual coward.

James said...

So what your saying Gary is that Forest Gump (aka Meredith) is writing a scholarly paper? Is that correct? And will he say that its the culmination of his life's work?

Well it will land up being something Herbie would say. Simple is as simple does. Fucking retards that run these cults.

Anonymous said...

I have read some of James Tabor's work. I have nothing really to criticise and obviously he is good enough that he has been able to make a living from being a professor and writing books about religion. I am still not sure what he believes but perhaps that doesn't matter. He seems like a Messianic Jew, though he is not a Jew as far as I know, and probably not Messianic either.

It is wonderful that he can be positive about his Ambassador experience. It seems he was smart enough to leave at the right time and continue his education before AC was completely discredited. Plus he was a 'mature student' and already married I believe when he entered the church and the college. I believe he was actually given some respect?

Those not so lucky are the ones who were brought up in this church and brainwashed from childhood. Then their only education was the Ambassador way. They didn't get to reach sexual maturity away from the influence of sex obsessed leaders with pedophilic tendencies, or get taken to doctors while they were young and vulnerable.
Plus Mr.Tabor is obviously of the British Israelite heritage. I don't want to sound bitter. I too reaped some good things maybe? from WCG and AC, but I do appreciate that for others who paid for many of my good experiences life was not so rosy.

I didn't read the article mentioned, why is it that I feel nothing Mr/Dr Tabor says will be something I haven't heard before and will also have the flavor of a certain influence which we shared.

Byker Bob said...

First of all, Ian, thanks for calling my attention to the fact that the latest issue of The Journal came out on Feb. 28. I had wracked my brain to try to remember any recent articles by Dr. Tabor, although I'm familiar with some of his research and his books.

I've long contended that leaders who went through the Ambassador experience who did not allow themselves to succumb to the corruption and cruelty had been immunized by something very positive in their previous background or training. Dr. Tabor is apparently no exception.

I believe that when he entered AC, he brought the spiritual experience of his prior discipline with him, and applied it in unique synergy with many of the tenets of Armstrongism. But, this would most likely have happened in whatever movement he chose to participate. This spiritual experience did not actually derive from Armstrongism. Nor did any other that I have been able to discern, or we would be well into the Millennium right now.

There are a number of schools of thought advanced by theologians and historians far more learned than I. One involves two distinct groups, the church unto the Jews, and the church unto the Gentiles. The Jewish Christians who had maintained the Jewish national culture basically went extinct sometime during the early centuries of the Christian era. The Gentile Christians, free of circumcision, and under Noahide law per the edict of James and the Jerusalem Council, under the guidance of Paul, and subsequently the Antenicene Fathers, became the Catholic Church. However, I seriously doubt that Dr. Tabor subscribes to this school of thought. He appears to believe that the early Christians were monolithic, that all embraced the entire Jewish culture. One cannot read Eusebius without realizing that Sunday keeping Gentile Christians were being tortured and martyred right along with sabbath-keeping Jewish Christians under certain of the Roman emperors, and the level of cruelty was such that the Holy Spirit would have to have been present in both groups for them to remain resolute in being tortured to death rather than break their faith.

Dr. Tabor has stated from time to time that he doesn't reveal his personal religion to his students, but whatever it is, we can be sure that there are Jewish leanings at the very least. He is one of many references, and I am neither one of his students, nor one of his followers. I just thought he would be capable of producing a much more authoritative analysis of the Protestant Reformation than would Rod Meredith. To lift and paraphrase from The King of Siam, "As for this Dr. Meredith, he shall have been most unscientific!"


Anonymous said...

No,James Tabor is not a Messianic Jew.He has completely rejected Christianity and has accepted Judaism as his religion.Tabor is a highly recognized scholar working out of one of the finest universities in the United States.I have read several of his books and admire his irenic style. It is interesting that those who left Arnstrongism and have gone on to gain recognition in the scholarly world---Tabor,Lester Grabbe,Phillip Arnold,Greg Doudna and Robert Kuhn as a philosophical interlocutor---have a more nuanced,less acerbic view of their religious past than those on these blogs.Could a wider grasp of theology and philosophy actually lead one to recognize some of the strengths of Armstrongism --certainly in comparison with orthodox Christianity--while acknowledging its obvious and dastardly elements? When one considers the grotesque nature of Calvinist theology,for example,how can one not deeply appreciate Armstrong's teaching that a loving and just God could not condemn people to an eternal hell fire just because of His decree? Those who reject Armstrongism for atheism, deism or agnosticism I can certainly understand, but not a smart fellow like Byker Bob who has gone to vacuous orthodox Christianity .No version of Christianity is any viable alternative to Armstrongism. Read Tabor in The Journal. He makes a lot of sense .Ian Boyne

Byker Bob said...

The one totally bitchin' thing about Armstrongism is that if by some cruel joke or miracle we ever find out that that's the way for all eternity, we get to opt out through the Lake of Fire.


nck said...

"This spiritual experience did not actually derive from Armstrongism."

Objection your honor!

What I find interesting in the "human experience" is how any religious system is able to serve as a catalyst to greatness but also serves as a tool for death and destruction, or for others a systemic tool of suppression toward mediocrity.

Do we not all apply "life experiences" and "philosopies" in "unique synergy". For people with predominantly catholic, protestant, business, colonial civil servant background all might have applied their "unique synergie" toward religion (or armstrongism) in interesting ways in synergie with their times and point within their lifecycle.

I read about the "beating", "racism", "paternalism" etc etc etc which were also part and present in larger societies in the times in which they occurred.

When I look at let's say the musings of a person like DDiehl I see the exact pattern of liberating philosophies that happened in North Western Europe from the early 1600's until this very moment all condensed in the time of one lifespan. a) oppressive protestantism b) dissenting into newer and exciting interpretation c) counter reformation d) atheism.

In my personal quest to connect the spiritual with the physical I redirected my car toward MT Tabor in Israel just for the "strange" connection to Dr Tabor's name. On another one of my exploits I paid my respects to the Armenian monument in Syria (now destroyed by ISIL) just because Dr Kuhn's wife would have appreciated that. Now, I won't tell what I do for you guys in secret. But I just realize it might be my way of praying.


Miller Jones said...

Anonymous 3/6/17 @ 12:31, sounds like you're the one who is grasping at straws. Since most of the descendants of the old WCOG are loath to release statistics about their numbers and influence (isn't that a little suspicious?), the available anecdotal evidence (in the form of those who speak and write for them and reports from the people who attend their services) suggests that the people of Armstrongism are aging and dying off faster than they are being replaced with new people. Moreover, any exceptions to this trend (Africa? Jamaica?) cannot possibly make up for what has happened in the United States, Europe, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Hence, I think that we are safe to speak about the demise of Armstrongism. Sure, there will probably always be a few nuts who will continue to adhere to this garbage, but it now seems highly unlikely that it will ever attract anywhere near the attention which it enjoyed in its heyday. (Corrected a typo)

Anonymous said...

Re: Dr.Tabor, after reading his contribution to the Journal I find I agree with him in part. I never did understand those who left WCG's doctrines (or went along with the changes) to grasp the beliefs of mainstream christianity. About the only part of Armstrongism I now agree with is the falseness of mainstream christianity especially the Roman Catholic church which hijacked many religions. But I can see how a person might continue this path and reject christianity altogether as someone claims Dr.Tabor has done?

If christianity is credible why do almost all Jews reject it? Surely they understand the Bible better (Torah etc) than anyone. I remember being told it was because they had been responsible for killing christ and felt guilty, but I think the Bible is clear that any group would have done likewise.

Biker Bobs suggestion that being willing to resist torture and martyrdom is a sign of having the Holy Spirit is not credible. Many people are willing to die for a cause or strongly held belief, Muslims are a prime example.

Byker Bob said...

A couple quick observations. 1) There is no way one could properly use the term "vacuous" on something so deep as classic Christianity. Someone, however, could have a vacuous understanding of it. Therein lies the problem.

2) 6:38, we're takling about people who were boiled alive in oil, had molten lead poured on them, or were stretched in primitive racks. This is not just someone blowing themselves up with a homicide bomb, or being beat up or waterboarded by the CIA. Nero was binding Christians in oil soaked cloth, igniting them, and using them as outdoor lighting for his debauched parties. Do you believe that you could watch as your brethren suffered excruciating deaths while you waited your turn, and then resolutely suffer and die without the strength of the Holy Spirit? Anyone can make a grand pronouncement from a cushy easy chair in the comforts of your living room. This was those peoples' testimony, and many became followers of Jesus Christ after witnessing their examples.


nck said...

"Do you believe that you could watch as your brethren suffered excruciating deaths while you waited your turn, and then resolutely suffer and die without the strength of the Holy Spirit?"

I know this remark comes from a good heart.

But indeed as a remark without context it could signal the worst of arrogant Christianity.

It supposes NO Budhist Monk can set himself aflame protesting the Chinese.
No Mongol warior ever sacrificed himself ever for another in conquering almost the entire known world. Or no Native American ever held his tongue on the whereabouts of his tribe, while being scalped by French scouts.

Unless one supposes these people were Christians after all as evidenced by their suffering.


Anonymous said...

Biker Bob, re my comment 6:38 and the discussion of torture......gruesome. I readily admit that I would probably do what was requested very quickly to avoid pain and suffering, but then I do not claim to be a christian. I have read studies on this topic, it was about humans being killed by lions and eaten alive etc. At a certain point of pain both humans and animals go into a state of shock and do not feel so much pain as one would expect, in fact some who survived reported a state of bliss. It is something to do with the body releasing natural opioids.

I have come close to dying myself (in a medical setting) and it was damned painful, but I did lapse into unconsciousness eventually.

Also I don't like the idea of a god who would test me with awful pain and perhaps consider me unconverted if I succumbed. Life itself involves plenty of pain right from the beginning and when we get old who of us knows which painful route we will take out of here.
It is some sort of Catholic notion to glorify pain.

Anonymous said...

LCG is so similar to the Catholic church these days. Perhaps Rod Meredith is qualified.

RCM is pope. He decides who is repentant and who isn't. He doles out the hail Mary's or whatever other penance he deems. His minions and bootlickers figuratively kiss his ring and bask in his blessing (favoritism).

RCM puts himself and his ministry in the position of intercessor just like Catholic priests.

I was Catholic prior to being in LCG and the similarities are actually profound.

Margaret Walker said...

For a TRUE believer in the Gospel of Christ, the very Gospel Christ preached, it is a WASTE OF TIME to study the "Protestant" reformation! Why? Because the LAW of God, the WHOLE LAW of the HOUSE is the study that should be the focus of the TRUE believer, so that one does not SIN by breaking that Eternal Law, contained in Commandments, with statutes and judgments, the WHOLE of which there is intact EVERY SINGLE JOT and TITTLE until heaven and earth pass away. One of the Laws of God states that one is NOT to "learn the way of the heathen". Just know that the Protestants are no different than the Catholic Church and are her daughters. They followed Constantine's edicts against the Jews. Not so the Church of God. Regarding Samuel Bacchiochi, he led the Churches of God into gross error by saying Christ was crucified on a Wednesday, which causes Christ to BREAK the Law of Peace Offerings in Lev.4. The Peace Offering is an ABOMINATION if it is offered after the SECOND DAY since the offering is made. The 6th day of the week is the ONLY DAY Christ could have been crucifed because it was the preparations day of the Sabbath and also a High Day, H7676, and that applies only to the weekly Sabbath, Day of Atonement, and Land Sabbatic, not all Holydays. Bacchiochi was wrong, scholarly wrong. The Hebrew calendar is even disproven by Genesis 1, which places the new moon ONLY on Day 4, and Passover in ABIB, which Genesis 1 was (blossom time and green ears, never the 7th month; mankind and animals would have STARVED TO DEATH the first WINTER!), so that Passover landed on a Tuesday, and the Jews POSTPONE it every time it lands on the 3rd day of the week. There is NOTHING one can learn from the Protestants except to REFORM themselves to God's Law, and come OUT of Babylone, entirely! But, the Church is 100% asleep and Christ is OUTSIDE the DOOR knocking.

Margaret Walker said...

There is no way here that any of these men teach the "whole law of the house", as per Ezekiel, the Prophet: who here, wears tassels, a law throughout your generations forever? Who keeps new moons at conjunction when the moon divides light from darkness, and is not a sabbath or one of the six working days? Who here teaches that duck is unclean as a whale, shark or swam because it "moves IN the waters"? Who here teaches the people that God has an eternal judgment for "fornication": Ex.22:16,17? Who here knows WHEN the "solemn seven year is", and READS THE LAW AT the Feast of Tabernacles in that year? Who here picks and chooses which Law to do away with for ANY reason, and who here does them ALL himself/herself? Ps.119:160. Sigh...